Boise, ID — For more than 90 years, Idahoans have benefitted from the “People Helping People” philosophy embraced by not-for-profit cooperative credit unions. Across the state, credit unions are serving their members, communities, and employees, providing a positive impact that is both economic and community-focused.
Credit unions not only serve their members but also help drive local economies, which directly correlates to a positive economic impact for Idaho. Today, a large delegation of credit union leaders met with state legislators, and shared a new, 2022 independent study conducted by well-respected economic firm ECONorthwest. The analysis found that credit unions are essential to Idaho’s economy and contributed a total economic impact of $1.7 billion.
Direct benefits to Idaho’s 1.3 million credit union members have a significant impact on the economies in the communities where they live. Credit unions reinvest their earnings in members through direct benefits such as fewer fees, dividends, lower interest rates on loans and credit cards, and more. When those benefits are spent in local communities, the ripple effect helps the entire economy. ECONorthwest measured the impact of member benefits, credit union jobs, and other factors in its analysis.
“As not-for-profit cooperatives, credit unions reinvest their earnings into their member-owners,” said Troy Stang, president and CEO of GoWest Credit Union Association. “These tangible benefits help stimulate local economies through members’ increased ability to support local business when they buy products or pay for services.”
Idaho credit union jobs offer an additional economic benefit to the state. The analysis found that the 3,700 Idaho credit union jobs support a total of 9,200 jobs throughout the state, which is part of the economic multiplier effect. With 24/7 technology and a network of 235 credit union branches available across the state, these economic benefits are realized in communities everywhere – in cities and rural areas.
In addition, a community impact report just released by GoWest Credit Union Association demonstrates how Idaho credit unions lead the way in supporting local initiatives by being dynamically involved with their communities through both institutional and individual partnerships and contributions. The just-completed study shows that communities throughout Idaho benefitted through credit unions and their employees’ efforts. For example, Idaho’s credit unions provided nearly 3,800 hours of financial education in their communities and made more than 1,640 loans to first-time homebuyers. Other highlights of credit unions’ impact across Idaho communities include:
- Support for nearly 600 non-profits through staff volunteerism and more than $5.16 million in charitable contributions; and
- Helping Idahoans to save for a brighter financial future. Nearly $7.1 billion is deposited in high-yield accounts in Idaho credit unions and $71 million is saved for the future in children’s accounts.